Tag: September 11th

Many believe that Donald Trump’s apparent victory in the Republican primaries will ultimately lead to the party’s downfall. Others have countered that Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity with independent voters and the young people who support Bernie Sanders means the GOP might yet have the last laugh in November. (More…)

After the latest spate of mass shootings in the United States, I tried to engage NRA supporters in reasonable debate. But I struggled to comprehend their way of thinking about risk. Defending easy access to assault weapons, one of them argued that, “If I put one in front of you when your family is under attack by a mob, you wouldn’t blink an eye.” I wasn’t so sure. (More…)

More and more, the dozen years between the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and September 11th, 2001 seem like a mirage. Although horrific conflicts took place then — in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and elsewhere — they appeared to be exceptions to an increasingly inevitable New World Order, in which peace-time problems would dominate the headlines. Military budgets were slashed throughout the developed world, especially the United States and Russia. (More…)

During the summer of 2001, then-Director of the CIA George Tenet warned the Senate Intelligence Committee of a possible major terrorist attack in the United States. He did not specify its time, location, or method. The rest is history. (More…)

Over the past month, pieces marking the twentieth anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide have built to a crescendo. For those who remember the initial coverage of his death, when his face stared out from publication after publication, the commemoration inspired a disturbing sense of déjà vu. We were being asked to relive something that wasn’t pleasant to begin with, but also, inevitably, to compare that period with our own. (More…)

The cars and trucks that draw my eye usually display an excess of public expression, with an array of bumper-stickers telling a complex and sometimes contradictory story of political and cultural allegiance. But sometimes I’m stopped short by a different kind of message, elegant as one of Ezra Pound’s Imagist couplets. Like this formulation: “Forget 911. I dial .357.” (More…)

Plastering political bumper stickers on the back of your car or truck may win you friends and enemies, but paying for a customized wrap-around paint job takes vehicular self-expression to a whole new level. When I saw this SUV parked in front of my local Trader Joe’s recently, I had to tip my cap. Because even if I found the message it communicated a little monomaniacal, there was no denying the owner’s passion. (More…)

Although almost everyone around the world has a superficial knowledge of the American way of life, forced down their throats by the United States’ two most successful export industries, weaponry and media, deeper understanding can prove elusive. How, for example, can the people of a nation that has been a global superpower for the better part of a century still conceive of themselves as renegade underdogs, fighting for freedom? (More…)

“I am just glad there isn’t a cactus on the cover.” Justin St. Germain is in the Tap Room of Tucson’s historic Hotel Congress, discussing his stunning new memoir Son of a Gun. At the time, I think he is simply expressing the saguaro fatigue that afflicts longtime residents of the Sonoran Desert. Images of the tree-sized cactus are stamped on everything imaginable. But when I drive through Tombstone a month later, I realize my mistake: (More…)

The flag should have been the give-away. For the past eleven years, the Stars and Stripes had been flying over the house across the street from dawn till dusk. Sometimes I’d see my neighbor putting it to bed, carefully folding it into the triangular shape they taught us to use in the Cub Scouts. (More…)

Because we didn’t want our two-year-old daughter’s head to be filled with disturbing images, we had avoided them ourselves. When I headed out to pick up a video for her to watch, it had been hours since the first attack. Walking into Blockbuster, I expected to see what I always saw, with new movie releases playing on its many television screens. But every single one of them was tuned to CNN. They were showing the footage of the second plane’s strike that had just become available. (More…)